Horizon Europe Programme

Horizon Europe is considered the most ambitious Research and Innovation Funding Programme ever, with a budget of € 95,5 billion for the next seven years 2021-2027.

With this new Programme, the European Commission intends to consolidate the results reached with the previous Horizon 2020 and keep a primary role at world level in R&I.

Its general objective is to create a scientific, technological, economic and societal impact from the Union’s investments in R&I, in order to:
• support the EU’s scientific and technological excellence and strengthen the European Research Area [ERA];
• implement the EU policies while tackling global challenges [e.g. climate change, digital transition, and the Sustainable Development Goals];
• boost Europe’s innovation capacity, competitiveness and jobs.

Keeping a continuity with its predecessor Horizon 2020, but also introducing some novelty elements, the new Framework Programme aims in particular at improving:
• the implementation of the simplification process of rules for participation and dissemination of results;
• support breakthrough innovations with the introduction of European Innovation Council [EIC];
the promotion of the dissemination and exploitation of research results through Open science policy: mandatory open access to publications and open science principles applied throughout the Programme;
• the effectiveness of funding by pursuing R&I Missions, clearly identified objectives with impact for society and policy making as well as relevance for solving some of the biggest challenges of our time;
• the partnerships, with a new approach: objective-driven and more ambitious partnerships with industry in support of EU policy objectives;
• the synergies with the other Financing Programmes and the Union’s policies.

Horizon Europe provides funding mainly in the form of grants, but also through prizes, procurements and financial instruments within blending operations and equity support under the EIC Accelerator.

The European Commission runs the Funding Programme through the release of calls for proposals published on the official portal Funding & Tenders at the link

The rules for participation and dissemination laid down in the Regulation establishing Horizon Europe, available here.

As a rule, unless the Work Programme provides otherwise, proposals shall be evaluated by a committee composed of external independent experts, on the basis of the award criteria excellence; impact; quality and efficiency of the implementation.

Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisation may participate in actions under the Programme, in compliance with the conditions laid down in the Regulation and in the referring Work Programme or call for proposals.

Entities must be part of a consortium that must include at least three independent legal entities each established in a different Member State or Associated Country and with at least one of them established in a Member State, unless the Work Programme provides otherwise.

Some actions [e.g. ERC frontier research actions, MSCA training and mobility actions, EIC actions] may be implemented by one or more legal entities, one of which must be established in a Member State or Associated Country on the basis of an agreement.

Strategic planning is a new way of setting the detailed R&I priorities of Horizon Europe, co-created by Commission services, Member States, stakeholders and civil society.

The strategic planning process will cover Horizon Europe as a whole; it will identify the areas for funding priorities, partnerships and missions, and align them with the political guidelines.

The Strategic Plan deriving from the process will prepare the content of the Work Programmes and calls for proposals for the first four years [expected impacts, partnerships and missions, …]